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Old July 8th, 2006, 07:41 AM   #241
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fusion
I see... I don't know, personally I'd be willing to trade a little government "waste" on a developer to see something as spectacular as Foster's canopy and masterplanned structure built, but I guess the public thought differently. The govt. is going to eventually throw away money on something... I'd prefer it to be something globally unique and recognizable that everyone could enjoy. A little public input is great, but it appears they're having a little too much influence, which leads to indecision and mediocrity.

Unfortunately the government's flawed development model inadvertently dragged Foster's canopy to the grave. Hong Kongers were excited about the canopy, but when the for-profit model was scrutinized (especially the commercial and residential portions of this 'cultural' district), somehow the economic feasibility of the canopy got dragged into the picture, even though Hong Kongers were well aware it would cost a lot of money to build it. But then, the government is full of money; they could easily have afforded it.

The controversy was never about the canopy, but rather why was the cultural district turning into a residential and commercial development project, and why would those portions subsidize the cultural portion when museums and the district would need a continuous source of funding from the government.
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Old July 8th, 2006, 07:59 AM   #242
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Yes, I'll never quite understand how the canopy's feasability was dragged into the argument. Very disappointing.

Back on subject... Would it not make sense to finish smoothing out the Harbour's jagged edges with reclamation and then calling it quits? Not only would it help calm the waters that have gotten a bit choppy in some spots, but it would create a definitive line that says "do not reclaim beyond this point." It sounds like some of the reclamation projects were aimed at accomplishing this. I think the biggest problem is allowing these rectangular plots of land to be reclaimed, sticking out into the harbour. Because it makes it all too tempting to propose "if we just fill in the spots between..." You know what I mean?

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Old July 9th, 2006, 03:05 AM   #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fusion
Yes, I'll never quite understand how the canopy's feasability was dragged into the argument. Very disappointing.

Back on subject... Would it not make sense to finish smoothing out the Harbour's jagged edges with reclamation and then calling it quits? Not only would it help calm the waters that have gotten a bit choppy in some spots, but it would create a definitive line that says "do not reclaim beyond this point." It sounds like some of the reclamation projects were aimed at accomplishing this. I think the biggest problem is allowing these rectangular plots of land to be reclaimed, sticking out into the harbour. Because it makes it all too tempting to propose "if we just fill in the spots between..." You know what I mean?

The original plan was to reclaim from Central all the way to Causeway Bay and have a continuous waterfront and a highway underneath with entry points in Central and Causeway Bay. The plan called for significant reclamation and that got a lot of negative response. As a result, some legal proceedings were taken to stop certain reclamations and political pressure scaled back others, hence the whole scheme is somewhat fragmented right now.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 06:31 PM   #244
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Pressure mounts to move PLA barracks
12 July 2006
South China Morning Post

The government should enter discussions with the People's Liberation Army in an attempt to move the PLA barracks from the Central waterfront, harbour advisers said yesterday.

The suggestion was made at a regular meeting of the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee, at which advisers were briefed on two harbour plans, one by the government and the other by four activists, including Society for Protection of the Harbour chairwoman Christine Loh Kung-wai and Paul Zimmerman.

Adviser Nicholas Brooke, a surveyor in private practice, told the meeting it was time the authorities took up the sensitive issue.

"I believe it is time we address the issue of the PLA headquarters," he said. "I know there are sensitivities involved in this issue, but the PLA should move out from Central so the land will be freed up when we're sorting out the future of the harbour front."

He described the location of the PLA barracks in Central as inappropriate, saying: "I hope the government will have some high-level discussions with the PLA on the issue."

A representative of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, Chan Kim-on, echoed Mr Brooke's view.

"The PLA barracks should not be in Central, so the plot should be freed up for us to have integrated planning for the waterfront," he said.

Officials did not reply to the request for the barracks to be moved. Robin Ip Man-fai, deputy secretary for housing, planning and lands, ruled out major changes at the Central waterfront, stressing the existing zoning plan had undergone the required legal process.

The Planning Department will conduct a review of the planning of the Central waterfront, but it will only cover designs.

Central will have an additional 3.3 million sq ft of commercial space under the plan for the reclaimed waterfront.

It includes a long, low-rise structure dubbed by planners as a "groundscraper" and by activists as the horizontal version of Two IFC. There will be a high-rise office tower north of Two IFC and two high-rise hotel blocks near Central piers number 4, 5 and 6.

Andrew Thomson of the Business Environment Council said the groundscraper was against the principle of mixed land uses and diversified activities.

Alvin Kwok Ngai-kuen opposed the hotel plans. He cited an earlier survey the harbour committee had conducted on the development of the Central pier area, in which the public opposed high-rises there.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 12:20 AM   #245
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Sydney-inspired bid for harbor loses vote
Leslie Kwoh and Albert Wong
Hong Kong Standard
Friday, July 14, 2006

Reminiscences of childhood ferry rides across a wide "fragrant harbor" and the promise of Sydney's commercially successful marriage of waterfront preservation, failed to convince lawmakers of the need for a harbor district authority to oversee the future of Hong Kong's most famous asset.

While all the lawmakers agreed that the harbor must be preserved, the consideration of a specific harbor authority, proposed in a nonbinding motion Thursday, was opposed by mostly functional constituency lawmakers.

The motion, moved by independent lawmaker and Action Group on the Protection of the Harbour convenor Kwok Ka-ki, comes at a time when the government's consecutive unveiling of new waterfront proposals on both sides of the harbor have concerned environmentalists eager to prevent further reclamation.

Retired High Court judge Simon Li Fook-sean warned last month "that in due course, one will be able to walk from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon."

Kwok called on the government Thursday to set up a statutory body that could make legally enforceable decisions on waterfront developments. The authority was planned to comprise a mix of elected and government-appointed members including academics, business leaders and green groups - but would still be subject to government oversight.

Kwok said he was inspired by the body that has been attributed with the success of Sydney's Darling Harbour, as well as the failings of Hong Kong's advisory Harbourfront Enhancement Committee, established two years ago.

Kwok said a harbor authority would help generate revenue for the government as well as preserve the harbor.

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is responsible for Sydney's most historically and culturally significant waterfront locations.

It is also one of the biggest landholders in Sydney, owning just over 400 hectares. Its A$1.1 billion (HK$6.45 billion) portfolio of commercial and noncommercial assets, that include the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre and Sydney Entertainment Centre, generated revenue of A$122 million for the year ending June 30, 2004.

Opposition was led Thursday by Tommy Cheung Yu-yan of the pro- business Liberal Party, who introduced an amendment effectively canceling out Kwok's key proposals.

Instead of a harbor authority, Cheung submitted there should be "extensive consultation, so that the government can adequately respond to the aspirations of the public when planning developments."

Representing the architectural, surveying and planning sector, lawmaker Patrick Lau Sau-shing said he supported all of Kwok's principles, but believed the government was already adhering to them and respecting the law as laid down by both the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance and the Court of Final Appeal. He voted against the motion.

Cheung Hok-ming of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said the city's reputation as the "Pearl of the Orient" rested on the harbor, but said his party was unable to support the "controversial" proposal of a harbor authority.

But two DAB members - Chan Yuen-han and Choy So-yuk, chairwoman of the environmental affairs panel - chose to back Kwok.

Raymond Ho Chung-tai, of The Alliance, said much work still needed to be done to improve the congestion problem in Central.

"It will not be in the best interests of Hong Kong people to hold up all future developments over the harborfront," he said.

Responding to Kwok's motion, Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung said in addition to meeting public demands for open space, Hong Kong must also maintain its role as an international finance center by keeping up with demand for commercial development.

He said a harbor authority "is not applicable everywhere" and that it was more important to complete the various harborfront developments at the moment.

With about two-thirds of legislators present, the largely pro-democratic geographical constituencies voted 10-2 in favor of Kwok's motion, but the functional constituencies voted it down, 5-13.

The Liberal Party's amendment was also rejected, but by only a narrow margin. The functional constituencies voted in favor 13-5, but the geographical constituencies voted against 8-9.

Kwok shot back in his closing statement: "I think the happiest party today is the government. You will succeed, but you will have to answer to the public later."

Tommy Cheung earlier said he felt there was no need for a harbor authority as introducing "too many authorities" would only "slow down the process."

Cheung's criticisms angered Kwok, who Tuesday accused the party of giving in to the government's behind-the- scenes lobbying and taking out the two most important parts of the motion.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 04:37 AM   #246
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Turds.

They're going to ruin the harbour I tell thee.
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Old July 14th, 2006, 10:01 AM   #247
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I think they won't be reclaiming any more land in the harbour anyway
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Old July 15th, 2006, 09:38 AM   #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachmaninov
I think they won't be reclaiming any more land in the harbour anyway
Give it two years when Hong Kong's booming and 'cramped' again...
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Old July 16th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #249
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Yeah it will be interesting to see how Hong Kong deals with the current and future booms in population and construction
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Old July 16th, 2006, 08:35 AM   #250
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PLA unlikely to move out of Tamar site, says analyst
16 July 2006
South China Morning Post

The PLA is unlikely to leave Tamar because its headquarters is strategically and symbolically important, says a military expert.

The Admiralty barracks, which includes the former Prince of Wales Building, served as a command centre for British forces before the handover.

Ma Ding-shing, a People's Liberation Army expert, said it served the same purpose today for the resident PLA troops. It was also an important forward base for the PLA, he said.

The Phoenix Television commentator said: "The barracks not only has military value but there is a significant political aspect to this as well.

"Hong Kong is not allowed to interfere with military or foreign relations matters, so it doesn't matter whether it is the government or Legco; they can suggest, but nobody can tell the PLA to leave."

The comments were made as pressure mounts for the government to start talking to the Hong Kong garrison about a possible move away from Admiralty so the land could be freed up for harbourfront planning.

Democrat Sin Chung-kai, a vocal proponent of the move, said the base did not appear to be used much.

"From the outside there are very few activities," he said. "There aren't many people going in or out. There aren't that many places in the world where you can find the headquarters of an army in its central business district. You wouldn't find one near Wall Street in New York."

Mr Sin said the government could buy the land back from the PLA and build a new barracks in a suburban area. A real estate agency estimated that the former HMS Tamar navy station was worth $22.5 billion.

Nicholas Brooke, an adviser to the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee, said there was speculation in the property sector that the government had begun talks with the PLA about a possible move out of Tamar.

"My understanding, and this is purely hearsay, is that the PLA is not particularly fussed about that location and would like in fact to consolidate its presence in Hong Kong," he said.

"And the Chinese have always said they did not want an indiscrete presence here. They didn't build the building, they inherited it."

Chan Kim-on, of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, said the distinctive "gin bottle" shaped building should be preserved.

A Security Bureau spokeswoman said: "The government currently has no plan to put any military sites to non-military uses."

Questions submitted to the PLA's Hong Kong garrison were unanswered.
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Old July 16th, 2006, 11:04 PM   #251
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Kool project I think its great to reclaim land from the ocean since it covers like 75% of the planet
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Old July 17th, 2006, 11:31 AM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urban_phx
Kool project I think its great to reclaim land from the ocean since it covers like 75% of the planet

Good point.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 06:08 PM   #253
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Photos taken in exhibition centre at City Hall.

Photos copyright: Hong Kong SAR Government









The model of the proposed development scheme:









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Old July 17th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #254
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Nice pics!!

But what is that floor with a blowing-wind icon doing???
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Old July 17th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachmaninov
Nice pics!!

But what is that floor with a blowing-wind icon doing???
that is a japanese fish ball. yumyum.

nice pic gakei!
I dont like this plan anyway,the color of the ground is weird,too many skybridge...I hope the Architectural Services Department will keep up their good work after the successful of wetland park...

Last edited by Aboveday; July 17th, 2006 at 06:38 PM.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 07:55 AM   #256
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its soooooooo green ...
wow
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Old July 18th, 2006, 08:04 AM   #257
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The idea of this project is really nice and it provides more greenery in HK's waterfront. But I don't like the idea of having a mid-rise building infront of the 2-IFC.

Watch out though cause that big green waterfront will ended up as "Little Philippines" on a Sunday
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Old July 18th, 2006, 08:08 AM   #258
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Old July 18th, 2006, 12:48 PM   #259
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wow~
the model is so amazing~
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Old July 18th, 2006, 03:36 PM   #260
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They're actually going to build what those rendering pictures show?
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